Monday, August 8, 2016

A Gate less Golden

In my recent travels I passed through a locality called Golden Gate, once a prosperous mining community approximately 10 kms West of Croydon.

The only sign that a township existed here can be seen on the southern side of the highway marked by a number of metre high steel posts and a sign saying no camping. In the background is a small mound of earth which was the railway station. Travelers here should be careful as there is a single strand of wire strung between a number of the trees at caravan height.

The railway station that once handled a lot of passenger traffic along with the freight that was needed to support a growing community now lies dormant except for the passing of the tourist train from Normanton on Wednesday and from Croydon on a Thursday.

A short walk to the Northern side of the highway and through a fence onto a cattle station I found some more stark reminders of a prosperous past. These boilers were once used to generate the energy needed to raise the ore from deep under ground and be processed to extract the fine golden metal. 

This area is fenced separately from the rest of the property because of the dangers these old diggings present to anyone who passes by, including the cattle. If you fell into this pit you would almost certainly die. It took a couple of seconds before the sound of splashing water was heard when I threw a stone into the pit.

The reader may like to visit another post about Golden Gate School.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A view of Normanton

Sunrise in the main street

There isn't much that remains of that part of Normanton that was on the north bank of the Norman River. There is a popular freecamp on the western side of the road to Karumba (only when it is dry) and this tower on the eastern side.

At the northern end of town is the old Burns Philp building where either everyone worked or shopped.

This is now the information centre.

This is where the shire of Carpentaria (64,373 km²) is administered.

In the main street, Landsborough Street, you will find these cast iron plates over the gutters. They were manufactured in Croydon.

Two of the hotels in Normanton. The Central in the foreground and the Albion on the left.

The Albion hotel was once owned by Emily McDOUGALL, the author's grandmother, in the 1920s. She sold it to Mrs. Lee in 1929 when she went to Croydon for the day to seal the deal.

The third hotel in Normanton is the Purple Pub, which in a previous incarnation was the National hotel.

Further down the street is a cafe with petrol bowser.

Another prominent business in town is Gallagher's butcher shop which specializes in beef that is paddock to plate.

Road trains in the main street of town are not unusual and we see here some braham cattle that are off to be made into tomorrow's roast beef.

Nevile Shute stayed in town for a while.